Wegner Grotto

Paul and Matilda Wegner  |  Paul ?-1937 and Matilda ?-1942  |  near Cataract, WI

Embellished concrete environment and grotto  |  Created 1929-1936


One of the more striking things I noticed on this particular road trip is how often I encountered other people at the grottos, even though they are definitely off the beaten path.  It speaks volumes to the power of creative expression, no matter where you find it, as well as hearkening back to the days that roadside attractions were oft hand created, without concession stands and water slides.  


The Wegners began to build their Grotto around the family farm home after their retirement in 1929.  Developed over several years, the sculpture environment slowly grew to include a fanciful American flag, a giant reproduction of their 50th anniversary cake, and a concrete facsimile of the Bremen, a celebrated ocean liner of the 1930s.  Other constructions were religious in nature.  The magnificent Prayer Garden, Glass Church, and Peace Monument once served as places for quiet reflection, public preaching, and community gatherings. (excerpted from the plaque provided by the Kohler Foundation) 


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